18/10/2013 Midlands Today


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by Islamist extremists. That's all from the BBC News at Six. So it's


goodbye from Welcome to Midlands today. The


headlines: New homes for ?1. Buyers get a first look around and find out


how much needs to be done. I grew up in Stoke`on`Trent, I was born here.


So I want to see it thrive. We will be asking if it is a good idea. Also


tonight: On its way back to New Zealand. A tattooed head found in a


university storeroom. The fact they were taken into a collection fills


me with shame. But I'm glad they were here so we could look after


them and give them back. Giants of the music scene gather at the Serra


but Hall to remember Jon Brookes. And meet Zeus, who is about to


embark on a new career. The weather is not quite so sweet. Wet and


windy, but not all doom and gloom. Find out why later.


Good evening. The first owners of terraced houses being sold for just


one pound in Stoke`on`Trent have been taking a look today at what


they've bought. 33 rundown properties were put up for grabs by


the City Council, with new owners being offered a ?30,000 loan to


complete essential repairs, repayable over ten years. In return,


they have to commit to living there for at least five years. Our


Staffordshire reporter Liz Copper has been to see what they get.


These are the first time buyers on the threshold of an experiment in


home ownership. My name is Rachel Roberts, I am 31. The reason I want


a ?1 house is because it is so difficult to get a deposit together


for a mortgage. This is a perfect opportunity to not only own my own


home, but impact a community. I am Gavin, I am 25. I wanted to be


involved because it helps get Stoke`on`Trent back on the map and


it's a good financial opportunity for people that cannot initially


afford to get onto the housing market. The buyers are committing to


a ?30,000 loan to do up their properties. This is one of the


houses. There are strict eligibility requirements for anybody wanting to


take part. The reality is, the council is still looking for


potential homeowners that are both willing and able to take on one of


these homes. In the next street these houses are for sale by auction


next month, with a guide price of just ?20,000. So is this scheme a


risky option? In a recent audit report, this scheme was described as


an emerging risk. Why is that? Well, risk is people's perception. Our


perception is that it is not a risk. We are going to ensure that


this scheme actually succeeds. Work will begin to renovate the homes in


the next few weeks. The first homeowners are expected to pick up


their keys and move in by the early part of next year. The test for this


project will be whether it can truly revitalise and regenerate these


streets. Joining us now from London is Miles


Shipside, from Rightmove. Good evening. Is this a good idea? It is


a good idea. Rather than getting a one`off do up on the street, you can


regenerate the whole area once. It's a major impact. As you heard, these


people have a real passion for the area, which some speculators don't


have. Getting owner occupiers with a long`term commitment is a great idea


to gentrify it and bringing up in terms of standards. Do you reckon


this could be used in other parts of the country? It certainly could be.


A fairly unique set of circumstances. They have been


compulsory purchased, as part of a wider regeneration scheme that did


not take place. It's a good idea to use existing houses with a lot of


character and space. It's often cheaper than knocking them down and


building new ones. Still tough to get onto the property ladder? It is


indeed. There is the government help to buy scheme. Previously, you had


to have a 10% deposit. Now, with a 5% deposit, you will potentially be


able to get onto the housing ladder as a first`time buyer. What about


the warnings we hear from people that this government scheme will


only create a bubble which will burst? Obviously there is a risk of


a price spike. If lending was as irresponsible as it was before 2007,


where you could certify your own mortgage or get an interest only,


125% loan to value mortgage. A lot tighter lending criteria has come


in. It will not be a mortgage free for all. To get this 5% deposit


mortgage, you will have to be pretty squeaky clean. That ought to temper


demand and stop a price spike. Do you think there is anything more


that can be done to help the property market? Confidence is


growing. We are actually seeing positive economic signs. With


greater mortgage availability, that the help to buy scheme will bring


in, I think we are on the road to recovery. That is obviously good


news for people that are trapped in their properties and want to trade


up. Good news for first`time buyers if prices don't go up too much.


Thank you very much indeed. Coming up later in the programme:


The mystery of the Maori shrunken head found in a university


storeroom. More staff at a Birmingham secondary


school are considering refusing to teach a teenager who allegedly


threatened fellow pupils with a knife. Governors at Saltley School


overturned the headteacher's decision to exclude the pupil after


a "serious incident" in May. The GMB has become the second union to


ballot its members over industrial action amid concerns about safety. A


school with over 900 pupils, the interests of one individual are


being put above all of the other pupils within the school.


Unfortunately, if the governors are not prepared to talk, the action


will be escalated if the ballot action comes through from my members


to say they are prepared to take industrial action. A police divinity


support officer has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public


office in connection with leek information from West Midlands


Police. It follows an inquiry carried out by the force's Counter


Corruption Unit. The 42`year`old has been suspended from his job


following his arrest in Sandwell yesterday. Three other people, two


men and a woman, were also arrested in Tipton as part of the same case.


Students have been staging a demonstration at the offices of the


Liberal democrat MP John Hemming. They were protesting against


Government plans to privatise student loans. The Birmingham


Yardley MP says the transfer won't affect any of the students' terms


and conditions, which can only be altered by Parliament.


It's a practice described as shameful, but the removal of


historic artefacts from far`away lands was once commonplace. When the


ancient tattooed head of a Maori tribesman was found at the


University of Birmingham, it was important it should be returned to


New Zealand. Today the head was handed over in a special ceremony.


Contained in these boxes are human remains found in a storeroom at the


University of Birmingham. They include the tattooed, mummified head


of a Maori warrior. Out of respect, we didn't film the remains but this


is what the heads, known as toi Moko, look like. When New Zealand


was colonised, many were taken abroad by collectors who saw them as


a prized asset Maori elders from New Zealand were invited to make the


A number of people, people of science, they have always had a


fascination. Maori elders from New Zealand were invited to make the


journey to reclaim their ancestors. This repatriation ceremony ` a Maori


tradition ` was organised by the university. Our best guess is that


different people and the location around the university did have


private collections in the Victorian era. That was quite common. The fact


they were taken from New Zealand into private collections fills me


with shame. But I am really glad they were here so we could look


after them and give them back. Now it is time for their spirit and life


force to return home. Many heads were traded for guns in Victorian


times. Since 2003, The Museum of New Zealand has been working to return


them from around the world. Work will now start to try to trace which


tribe these remains belonged to. The Maori's are delighted to have them


back and showed their appreciation in the traditional way.


A Birmingham MP has said it's up to the Government to help the city


respond positively to the scathing criticisms levelled at it by the


head of the education watchdog Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw. He said


it was a national disgrace that the Children's Services Department had


failed to protect children, including two`year`old Keanu


Williams, who was beaten to death by his mother. Patrick Burns has more


on this. The comments really have had an amazing impact, haven't they?


They have. Frankly, I don't think anyone quite expected such a full on


onslaught. He was absolutely withering, time and time again. He


asked, why is it that in areas like mortality rates, life chances


generally, why is it that Birmingham's record compares with


some of the poorest countries in the developing world? I put that to one


of our local MPs. He said there really was an important warning


within this, not just inside the Birmingham city limits, for everyone


that is concerned about the issues surrounding child protection. It is


very disturbing that both Birmingham City Council and Sandwell Council


have been listed on this list of 20 local authorities that have been


deemed inadequate. It is a shocking failure for some of our most


fundable children, particularly in Sandwell, where Children's Services


Department has been in a struggling situation for some time. Failure of


leadership. We need to get a grip. These people are letting down some


of the most vulnerable children. Sir Michael went beyond the issue of


child protection, didn't he? That is having a damaging impact on the city


as a whole? That is the point I took up with a leading Labour MP, that we


also saw in that clip. He has taken a particular interest in issues


around child protection over the years. He said, important though


that is, this is just a range of concerns were, frankly, government


ministers need to help the city. I agree with most of the questions


asked. I think we need to address those questions and we haven't done


so. We haven't done so in the last eight years in Birmingham in tens of


children services. We need to look at systemic failures that are


happening. On the other questions on mortality and issues of


homelessness, I think we do need to look at it, we need to look at what


national government is doing to support them to come out of that.


When Sir Michael made those comments, there was real concern


about what we call the collateral effect, the damage to Birmingham's


reputation at a time when it is trying to bring in inward investment


and the rest of it. With this further damage, especially in the


eyes of the London metropolitan elite, the impressions of the city?


But what we take from this is that there are some leading local


politicians that feel, painful though it has been to hear this, in


the long term, he may have given us a blessing in disguise. And Patrick


will be back with more on this in this weekend's Sunday Politics,


starting as usual at 11 o'clock here on BBC One.


This is our top story tonight: New homes for a pound: buyers get a


first look round and find out just how much needs to be done. Your


detailed weather forecast to come shortly. Also in tonight's


programme: Looking ahead to the Premier League derby tomorrow, Stoke


City against West Bromwich Albion. Will it be better than last year's


dour 0`0 draw? And meet Zeus, set to be a guide dog in 18 months time.


We'll be following him along the way.


In the 1990s they were a chart topping band. Since then, the


Charlatans, formed here in the Midlands, have continued to sell


thousands of records and sell`out concerts around the world. But in


August their drummer, Jon Brookes, died of a brain tumour aged just 44.


Tonight the band and many big names from the music industry, including


Liam Gallagher, will take to the stage in tribute at the Royal Albert


Hall. There are some flashing images in Ben Sidwell's report.


Jon Brookes was at his happiest sat behind a set of drums. He was a


larger`than`life character. He had a lust for life. Jon, who lives in


Burntwood, was one of the founder members of the Charlatans when they


formed in Walsall in 1989. Tonight, the remaining members of the band


will take to the stage of the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate his life.


It's not like he's gone, really. His spirit's there. It kicks in, it


dawns on you, you know? It will be a tough one, I think. You know what I


mean? Every time you think of Jon, it put a smile on your face. It was


during this gig in Philadelphia in September 2010 that Jon collapsed on


stage. Just a few months later when I met up with him, he was in a


positive mood about the future. I'm at the start of a long road of


treatment for my cancer. But I'm feeling fit, positive. I'm in good


hands. Sadly, Jon lost his three year battle against the disease in


August this year. He was just 44. At the offices of the Brain Tumour


Charity in Shirley, they've seen plenty of cases like Jon's. 9,000


people a year are diagnosed with the disease and fewer than 15% survive.


It's the biggest cancer killer of the under 40s in the country. He's


making a big contribution now. His passing has brought on this


concert. The awareness and the money that will be raised from the night


will be part of his lasting legacy, undoubtedly. And there'll be plenty


of big names who'll be there to help the cause. I only met him through


the gigs we've done, maybe out about and whatever, you know what I mean?


Every time I met him I had a splendid time with him. He was a


good lad. Jon was passionate about music, especially here in the West


Midlands. He co`founded a record label in Birmingham. Tonight, Dumb,


one of the bands he managed will open the concert. It didn't matter


whether he was talking to one of the biggest rock stars that he came


across at worldwide festivals or whether it was a 16`year`old


band`member that wanted some advice. He would speak to them in


the same way, at the same level. And I think that was one of the


fantastic traits about John. Even now, you keep on turning and


he's not there and it's a big shock. He'll be there in spirit. I think


it's a way we can all say thanks and good night. And thanks for the


memories. Tonight's concert is about raising awareness of the disease


that killed Jon, but it's also a chance to celebrate the life of one


of the nicest men in music. It should be a poignant occasion in


a special setting. Time for sport now and Dan's here.


Intriguing derby at the Britannia tomorrow? When ones hot, the other's


not. Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion


face each other in the Premier League tomorrow having had


completely opposite fortunes so far. While Stoke started well only to


stutter, well Albion have done it the other way round.


It all started so well. When stoke won at West Ham at the end of August


the summer appointment manager Mark Hughes was going smoothly. Stoke


were fifth, having won two out of three games. In contrast West


Bromwich Albion were bottom but one and hadn't scored a goal. But since


then it's been all change for both. Albion are unbeaten, climbing up to


12th, but Stoke are falling fast and are now 16th. We don't seem to be


able to get the results that our performances deserve. As with the


Premier League, you have another opportunity to put that right. We


are the home side tomorrow, looking to be positive, looking for maximum


points against a very good West Brom team. With impressive training


facilities like these, Stoke city want Mark Hughes to take them up the


Premier League, not down. They also want a team that entertains. But on


that score Stoke and Albion have a head start tomorrow. Last season's


meetings were a goalless draw and a 1`0 win to Stoke and both were


utterly forgettable. Both games were absolutely dreadful. But you can


never tell what a game is going to be like. We are going to go there,


positive, to play football, try and win the game. If Stoke set up the


same way, they set up open as well and try to win the game, it could be


a great game. But you never know. The running order on Match Of The


Day will tell us all. If last season's games are repeated we'll


have a late night waiting for the highlights. Off the pitch though


there's more confusion today for Birmingham City fans worried about


the future of their club. The Solihull businessman Gianni


Paladini is claiming he agreed a deal to buy the club with the acting


chairman Peter Pannu when he was in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago.


But he says he's heard nothing more since Mr Pannu returned to Hong


Kong. He's even offered to fly out there for talks with the owner


Carson Yeung. But that won't be easy, because Mr Yeung is currently


giving evidence in his money laundering trial in Hong Kong and


there's no timescale for how much longer it will be until that trial


finishes. Today, Birmingham city have responded. They say they're


disappointed with Mr Paladini's comments and stressed that Carson


Yeung is not interested in a full sale of the club at the moment. We


don't know where we are? It's difficult. Meanwhile Wolves are at


home to Coventry and there'll be a big away following. Yes, contrast


that with last weekend, there were far fewer at the so`called home


game. It shows they haven't given up on the club. It emphasises the


opposition. Peter Abbott has been to every home game for 37 years. He


will not be there tomorrow, it is nearly his daughter 's wedding. I


think he has chosen wisely. Kids, hey?


Nearly 1,000 people across the Midlands have to put their trust in


a guide dog to help them live a near`normal life. But the journey


for a dog to take on that huge responsibility is long and testing.


Over the next 18 months, we're going to follow the progress of Zeus, a


seven week old pup, as he learns the ropes. We can join our reporter


Joanne Writtle now. How is he doing? He is doing brilliantly. If a little


sleepy. You know, it costs about ?50,000 to support one of these from


birth until they retire as a working guide dog at about seven or eight


years of age. What the guide dogs people are looking for is a puppy


with fantastic temperament. They need to be really alert, when they


are not asleep! The testing for that's temperament begins when they


are just a few weeks old, as I have been finding out.


It's behaviour test day at the Guide Dogs Breeding Centre near Leamington


Spa. 40 pups will be observed to see if their temperament is suitable to


become guiding eyes for the blind. This is seven`week`old Zeus.


Watching him intently, Howard Jones. He's trained hundreds of dogs over


25 years. And soon he'll be taking Zeus away from the breeding centre.


All of our guide dog work is about the puppy actually wanted to perform


for the vision impaired client. Having the confidence to be out


there, day`to`day, in the big wide world. It'll be about 18 months


before he's ready to work. 75% of dogs make it through the training. I


was looking for confidence and I was looking for a willingness to follow


a lead and to accept commands, which we saw in bucket loads with him. He


was really jolly. The good news is that Zeus passed his behaviour test


with flying colours. He is a total extrovert. This little chap was a


bit too quiet. He is not suitable for the demanding job of working


with the blind. The plus side is, his temperament is perfect for


working with somebody with a different kind of disability. He


will now be offered to a different systems dog charity. `` assistance


dog. And this is an example of the responsibility Zeus will eventually


have. Amy Kettle is just 16 and has to put all her trust in guide dog


Connie, negotiating traffic in her home town of Halesowen. I don't


think my life would be the same without her. I'd never be able to go


out. I can have a bit more of a life now with her. Back in Leamington,


the time has come for Zeus to leave the breeding centre. Off on your


journey, Mr, and you? Ready to become a guide dog? This is where


Zeus was driven to, to a family home here in Kingswinford. They have been


interviewed and expected and they have this huge responsibility of


taking care of Zeus. Simon, you are a stay at home dad. Why have you


taken on this responsibility? I used to have dogs before, and I really


enjoyed training them. The children are a little bit older, with a bit


more time. I spoke to a neighbour of mine that had been involved with the


guide dogs. She suggested I become a puppy walker. You're going to have


regular visits from Howard, who we saw in the film? That is right, he


will come back every couple of weeks and take us on to the next stage. I


am in contact over the phone for anything that comes up. He will be


monitored regularly. Louise, home from work now, we've paid you a


surprise visit at your school, where you are a teacher. But it is quite


important for Zeus, why is that? During his life as a guide dog he


has to be used to different situations and environments. He got


that today. What did the children make of it? We were meant to be


giving a reading at the time, but that went out of the window. He was


much more fun. How difficult will it be to hand him back? It will be


really sad. We will not want to give him away. What do you think of this


new addition to your family? He's quite cute and very amusing. What do


your friends think of him? He's very cute, again, and they just think...


They want to pat him, don't they? We will be following the trials and


should relations of Zeus over the next 18 months. In a year's time he


will leave the house as the training ramps up and he is handed to a blind


person. Wonderful, it will be heartbreaking


for them when he goes. And if you're on Twitter you might like to know


Zeus is there too. Look for him @gdpuppyzeus. And until his paws get


used to it, we're told the Guide Dogs Charity people will be updating


it on his behalf. Let's find out about the weekend weather now.


A mixed bag, we will get a bit of everything over the next few days.


Plenty of brain about. We are going to have blustery conditions as well.


Where we have the cloud, it will break times and we have the sun. We


have warmer air, temperatures above average for the time of year. We


haven't really seen the sun. We have had some rain moving through as


well. The rain is going to continue to make its way across the region as


we move through tonight. It will stick with us for much of the night.


We could see ten or 15 millimetres of rainfall by the time we wake up


tomorrow. There could be some heavy pulses as well. It will slowly move


off as we move through into Saturday morning. The cloud and rain is


helping temperatures overnight. We are in milder air. 11 or 12 Celsius


overnight. A girl and damp start to Saturday. The rain is moving


through. It will eventually start to clear away. We have strong wind to


contend with tomorrow. We have breaks in the cloud, the sun will


come out. Where we see that, temperatures could get up to 17


Celsius. More rain waiting in the wings. On Saturday, lively showers.


We could see thunder as well. Overnight, it will turn cloudy. Then


we have more raining through by the time and get a Sunday morning.


Another mild nights to come. 12 or 13 Celsius is the overnight low. As


we start to move through to Sunday, we have low`pressure beginning to


dominate and low pressure making its way in. Through Sunday we could see


a shower pretty much anywhere. But it will be a mild day, we will get


more breaks as well. A quick note, on Monday we have heavy rain to come


through Sunday night and into Monday. Surface water could be a


problem for the Monday morning rush hour.


Tonight's headlines from the BBC: Disgraceful, heartbreaking,


institutionalised abuse. Sstrong criticism from a coroner who rules


neglect contributed to the deaths of five people in a care home in


Sussex. Proposals to cut fuel prices by 5p a litre for those living in


more remote rural areas. And new homes for a pound ` buyers get a


first look round and find out just how much needs to be done. And on


its way back to New Zealand ` a tattooed Maori head found in a


university storeroom. Before we go, congratulations to our


documentary team here at the BBC in the West Midlands. Inside Out won


three trophies at last night's Royal Television Society Awards. It took


the diversity award for its film about Tourette's and its programme


on Stafford Hospital won Best Current Affairs Feature. Cameraman


Gary Darfield won an award for his skills. That was the Midlands Today.


I'll be back at ten o'clock Have a great evening. Goodbye.


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